Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rantin' Roarin' Righteous Rev

Loving the Seattle PI this morning. Here are a couple of tidbits:

The GOP's disgruntled right

By Dan Thomasson

Ah, yes, the folks whom MSM euphemistically term "values voters" (in English: "wedge-issue voters") are having strokes because their attacks on the Constitution will be coming to a close and none too soon for the survival of our nation.

Let's de-euphemize these "values" voters and call them what they really are: wedge-issue voters.

They're singularly unpatriotic: rather than a sense of civic pride and citizens' duty bringing them to the polls, it's the joy of taking something away from someone else that does it. A voter with values would value the Constitution and all the rights accorded by it. The wedge-issue voters have amply demonstrated their willingness to take razor-knives to our founding document, so long as it favors their narrow agenda and dehumanizes their fellow citizens. That is tantamount to treason at the worst; subversiveness at the very best.

They're mentally and morally lazy: it's easier to come forth in droves like ants after honey when they, in equal mindlessness with the ants, simply follow what some rich crook tells them to do. Let some K-Street sleazeball, or sleazeball-connected big-box preachah, raise their banners in the name of weird, mostly insane notions of "morality", out the wedge-issue voters pour. That thinking stuff's just way too hard for them and they'd rather just bleat along with the other stupid sheep.

Rather than just fading back into the nutcase woodwork they came out from, perhaps their disdain for the Constitution and their fellow human beings would be better served in a nation that's made just the way they like it, with religion in schools, spies and "moralistic" judges with eyes and ears in the bedrooms and a totalitarian, strongman sort of government they so crave for the rest of us.

It's called Iran. I say, let's pass the hat and help them get to their Beulahland, and good f'ing riddance to lazy, unpatriotic, hypocritical rubbish.

Next tidbit.

Reigning ayatollahs of the right soon to be powerless

By Frank Rich

Oh happy day!!!! and Jesus save us from the deceivers who claim to be Your followers. There isn't a republic in office who isn't a liar, crook, thief and deceiver. The 80% of us who are still loyal Americans want our country back, thankyouverymuch.

Hey, America, had about enough of the nutjobs running the show, ruining the economy and slashing your rights? Had enough of endless, planless, directionless war that exists only for the benefit of Cheneyburton profiteers? Had enough lies and hypocrisy?

The solution: run every Republic out of office and tar their robot followers with the destruction they've wrought. No more "nice": pin their crap on them and let them wear it home like a scarlet letter "S" for stupid.

~ Red Letter Rev


Monday, October 29, 2007

An Enormous Stain on the World's Conscience

More than 2 million displaced Darfuris, including hundreds of thousands in camps, have been unable to return to their homes. The perpetrators of the worst atrocities remain unpunished. Despite a renewed U.N. push, the international peacekeeping troops that Bush has long been seeking have yet to materialize.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's Only a Matter of Time

Digby has a good post up on how George W. Bush is being disappeared from the presidential campaign and everyone's running against incumbent Hillary Clinton. Seems to be the GOP message.

Agitprop has a bit of different point of view on Georgie and what the Democratic message could be.

Meanwhile Bush is not being quiet....he wants his money for Iraq before Christmas. He said the soldiers deserve it, but it seems that a soldier was asked if the American endeavor in Iraq was worth his sacrifice to which Alarcon said no: "I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life."

The People are still marching across the country protesting and asking to end this war NOW!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No Nukes Is Good Nukes

'No Nukes' rockers renew fight decades later

Jackson Browne says he thought his group of politically active musicians "really dealt the nuclear industry a blow" with a series of 1979 concerts opposing nuclear power.

Nearly three decades later, Browne and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash are in Washington to resume the fight. The three, all founders of the Musicians for Safe Energy group that organized the No Nukes concerts, are delivering petitions to Congress today urging lawmakers not to make it easier to finance nuclear reactors.

In a 21st century update on the concert series, the trio created a website, NukeFree.org, featuring a YouTube video. It asks viewers to sign a petition opposing a provision in an energy bill before Congress that would expand federal loan guarantees for nuclear plants. Raitt isn't ruling out an encore of the concerts — which produced an album and a movie — but said the Internet got the word out quickly. […]

Browne says heightened terrorism concerns bolster the argument for looking other sources of power. "The consequences of blowing up a field of wind generators would not be the same as blowing up a train full of nuclear waste," he says.

The anti-nukes musicians have at least one friend in the corridors of power: Songwriter and guitarist John Hall, who helped found Musicians for Safe Energy, was elected to Congress last year. Hall, D-N.Y., arrived in Washington just in time to perform with his friends at a VIP reception on Capitol Hill Monday night.

On the proposed playlist: "Plutonium is Forever," a Hall song about the difficulties of disposing of nuclear waste. Browne described it as "rock music for policy wonks."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Seems it never rains in Southern California

Latest from AP:

Fast-moving wildfires roared across California on Monday and engulfed large swaths of San Diego County, where 250,000 people were told to evacuate as state officials called in National Guard troops.

More than a dozen fires, driven by gale-force winds, burned out of control across the drought-stricken southern half of the state, quickly charring about 200,000 acres, killing one person and injuring a number of others.

Southern California is in the midst of its driest year on record after rainfall just a fifth of average levels.

Scores of homes were believed to have been destroyed, but the full extent of damage was not known because dense smoke and high winds limited aerial surveillance.

Gusts of up to 75 mph (121 kph) prevented firefighters from using fixed-wing aircraft to battle the blazes, said state Fire Chief Bill Metcalf.

Friday, October 19, 2007

James Watson is not only a bigot, but he is a fraud who stole his biggest moment from the woman who deserved it.

Likely we all know by now that Nobel Laureate James Watson, who was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in biology for his 1953 paper published jointly with Francis Crick on the structure of DNA, once again stuck his foot in his mouth by saying that blacks were genetically inferior and less intelligent.

And this is hardly the first time that Watson has made such idiotic and prejudiced statements, among others suggesting that if there is a gene for homosexuality that women found to have a fetus with the gene should be 'allowed to have an abortion' (from which one can also infer that he feels that other women should not be allowed to have one) or suggesting that the idea of the 'Latin lover' is genetically based and that people of Hispanic descent have genetically based superior sexual prowess. In a British documentary, Watson suggested that there was a genetic basis for stupidity and it should be treated medically.

Well, I have one question for James Watson: Is dishonesty of the most horrifyingly immense proportion a genetic disease, or did he learn it from someone else? The discovery of the helical structure of DNA is rightly regarded as one of the two or three biggest scientific achievements ever. Only Mr. Watson is wrongly credited with it. Let me introduce you to the real genius behind the research, and one who has been stripped of the recognition which she so richly deserves and cast into historical obscurity by the betrayal of one of her closest colleagues, which in turn was paired with James Watson's basic dishonesty to change the face of scientific history, and perpetrate a great fraud:

The photo you see here is of Rosalind Franklin. It was Franklin, a trained chemist, who while working for Dr. Maurice Wilkins at King's College, took numerous x-ray photos of the DNA structure, and in particular one now known as 'photo 51', which clearly showed the structure and which she was quite close to figuring out on her own. According to an article written by Dr. Lynne Osman Elkin, a professor of biological sciences at California State University, Hayward,

NOVA: How close did Franklin actually come to deciphering the structure of DNA?

Elkin: She was very close. She had all the parameters of the helical backbone. She was the one who figured out that there were two forms of DNA, which made solving the whole structure possible. She had figured out that backbone of the A form is antiparallel. It wouldn't have been very long before she figured out that the B form backbone was antiparallel as well.

Only she couldn't have guessed the evil designs that lurked within her very lab. Her trusted partner and mentor, Maurice Wilkins, secretly and without her knowledge took photo 51 and showed it to James Watson. Wilkins then described in detail to Watson over dinner how research at the college was progressing and what he and Franklin were thinking.

Watson himself described the exact sequence of the betrayal, in his book, The Double Helix, where he writes,

Walking down the passage...[Wilkins] revealed that...he had quietly been duplicating some of Rosy's and Gosling's [Rosalind's assistant] X-ray work...Then the even more important cat was let out of the bag: Since the middle of the summer Rosy had had evidence for a new three-dimensional form of DNA...When I asked what the pattern was like, Maurice [Wilkins] went into an adjacent room to pick up a print of the new form they called the "B" structure. The instant I saw the picture my mouth fell open and my pulse began to race. The pattern was unbelievably simpler than those obtained previously...and Maurice told me he was now quite convinced she [Rosalind Franklin] was correct.

Wilkins got his thirty pieces of silver, sharing in the recognition by the Nobel committee with Watson and Crick. Franklin, who actually deserves to be credited with discovering the structure of DNA more than any of the other three, had died by then, and in fact it is quite likely that the price for her research was indeed her life-- she got ovarian cancer likely after exposure to the large number of x-rays her research entailed.

James Watson for his part, has acted the part of a man who actually knows he is guilty, that everything he has is based upon stolen research. He has missed few opportunities since then to attack Franklin's reputation and alternately described her using everything from 'frumpy and uncommunicative' to 'very intelligent' but off the track (which is utterly false-- Aaron Klug discovered a March 17, 1953 draft by Franklin written concurrently with Watson and Crick's paper which makes it clear that she was still able, despite the betrayal to figure it out at the same time as Watson and Crick-- and let Watson's own words quoted above about his meeting with Wilkins contradict his later denials.)

I first learned about Rosalind Franklin from a college biology instructor who had actually met James Watson. My [female] biology instructor called him, 'a lech,' apparently having reason to believe that he was too horny for his own good. But having delved deeper into this, my own belief is that not only should James Watson refrain from making any more of the bigotted statements that he seems to be so famous for, but he should count his blessings that few have publically pointed at him as being a first magnitude fraud and thief.

In a just world, schoolkids would learn who the real discoverer of the structure of DNA was: Rosalind Franklin. But the world is rarely just.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

You Left In Autumn

You left in autumn
The leaves were turning
I walked down roads of orange and gold
I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You're still here beside me every day
'Cause I know you by heart

Give Daddy a hug for me, Mom. See you later.

Rest in Peace

One of our fellow bloggers lost her mother last night. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of our fellow blogger.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Al Gore, Man of Peace

Wapo has an article by Peter Baker with a "cooked-up" title. However the article makes an interesting comparison of the paths of Former Vice President Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Bush.

What a difference seven years makes. The winner of that struggle went on to capture the White House and to become a wartime leader now heading toward the final year of a struggling presidency. The loser went on to reinvent himself from cautious politician to hero of the activist left now honored as a man of peace.
The Independent adds:
His [Al Gore] cause is a higher one, the unwilling hero implies, that is better served by the public advocacy his celebrity makes possible, than by political office with its constraints and inevitable compromises. "The range of things we're talking about now will come to seem so small. "This [climate change] is not a political issue but a moral and spiritual challenge."
Al Gore was so right about so many things. This country needs a leader like that, desperately.

Congressional resolution on the Armenian genocide

The Bush administration is worried about the reaction that a congressional committee resolution that states a simple fact-- that the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1917 was a 'genocide,' will cause in Turkey.

The Turks of course claim that these events, which happened before nearly anyone alive today was born, were simply a matter of inter-ethnic fighting.

First, let's dispense with that fiction. The Ottomans, who felt threatened by Christian Armenians because they were well aware that the colonial powers, France and England, planned to divide up the spoils of their empire if the side Turkey was on lost World War I (which they eventually did) wanted to get rid of their non-muslim population from an area in the eastern part of the empire. So following the orders of the so-called 'three Pashas' (leaders in the Ottoman government) Turkish troops and irregulars embarked on a campaign to systematically eradicate the Armenian population. Mehmet Talat Pasha, who held the position of Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, is known to have issued the order,

"Kill every Armenian man, woman, and child without concern".

On the orders of Mehmet Talat Pasha and others, Armenians were simply butchered by armed soldiers in their villages, the villages themselves were burned to the ground and those who managed to flee were pursued and mercilessly slaughtered when caught. Some were temporarily spared and let go in remote regions of the desert to die a slow death of starvation. Thousands of others avoided the soldiers but had to flee across the border into Russia where some survived but others froze to death, starved to death or were killed by local gangs of marauders-- not surprising at that, as the Christian Armenians have always been about as 'welcome' among their various Muslim neighbors as a cat in the dog pound. In fact, in many ways the Armenian genocide provided a blueprint for Hitler's Holocaust against those he considered undesirable-- primarily Jews, a generation later.

It is also true that while the Ottoman empire was carved up and shrunk down to its Turkish core (plus a third of Kurdistan-- more on that further down) and the British and the French demanded that the Turks pay some reparations, the one act of war that the Turks were never held accountable for was the Armenian genocide. It turned out that the Turkish concern about the Christian British and French colonialists was misplaced-- they did indeed divide the Ottoman empire, but in creating territories (which eventually became nations) like Iraq, Syria and Jordan, they just drew lines on a map, thinking in terms of plunder, not people. The peoples of these lands were artificially divided by lines drawn in London or Paris and often forced into new political entities which made no sense historically, culturally, or ethnically (much of our present problem in Iraq springs from this fact.)

Of course the powers that won WWI did not consider genocide to be very serious to begin with. Britain and France were guilty in their long colonial past of everything from the slave trade to plundering and carrying out extreme acts of brutality against indigenous peoples all over the world. For that matter, the United States was only a generation removed from Wounded Knee and would not have wanted to have its past history involving the Nez Perce or Cherokee, for example, scrutinized very closely. So the world simply forgot.

But now, ninety years too late, but still better than never, a committee of the United States Congress has forwarded to a floor vote a simple, non-binding resolution which contains no specific actions or recommendation for action. It simply acknowledges that the Armenian genocide was in fact a genocide-- and by any modern standard it meets the definition of one.

The Bush administration has questioned the timing of this resolution. They are worried that Turkey may invade northern Iraq to fight against Kurdish rebels operating from the region and consider the resolution needlessly provocative. To date Kurdistan has been the one area of Iraq that has been relatively peaceful so the administration is worried that a war going on in Kurdistan would complicate their already-unattainable goal of to winning a 'victory' in Iraq.

But to question the timing is ridiculous. For years they've had a rubber stamp Congress and one that would never have considered such a resolution. A Congress with the fortitude to do so was seated only nine months ago. And this is one of the first nonbinding resolutions they've taken up (and seriously, hasn't Turkey been threatening to invade Iraq for at least the past three years? The same argument would have been made at any time since January if the resolution was put forward).

Now, I don't mean to claim that Democrats are blameless when it comes to plowing under the Armenian genocide. After all, our party has controlled Congress before, and never passed such a resolution. However, we haven't since 1994, and even back then the issue hadn't reached such a stage of consciousness. Further, while I would argue that in general Republicans have been worse about showing moral clarity on human rights issues (except of course when the perpetrators were communists), Democrats have failed as well-- Jimmy Carter, for all his well-earned reputation as a champion of human rights, does have one huge blot on that record-- as President he supported Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge maintaining a seat in the United Nations and did not speak out or oppose Pol Pot, who was the biggest genocidal murderer of that day. And Bill Clinton did not speak out about, let alone take action to oppose the biggest genocide to have occurred on his watch, that in Rwanda.

Nevertheless, Carter and Clinton at least deserve credit for being willing to speak up against erstwhile allies like the Shah of Iran and some of the Latin American dictatorships for human rights abuses. Republicans' stands on human rights can best be related by a letter I wrote once to Jon Kyl (in 1988 or 1989 when I lived in Phoenix and he was my congressman.) I was concerned about reports that the government in Sudan (then technically a U.S. ally) was involved in the slave trade, supporting the kidnapping of African men, women and children who were then sold as slaves in Saudi Arabia and other countries. Kyl 'got back to me' with a response, and it was exactly word for word the lie that the Reagan era state department was perpetrating that the Sudanese government was doing everything they could to stop the slave trade. Of course everyone knew that wasn't true, they were hip deep in it (as they are today). But then today they are both failing to stop the slave trade and today's biggest genocide-- in Darfur, and the Bush administration again does as little as they can get away with.

Which leads us back to the Turkish situation involving the Kurds. It is true that the Turks feel threatened by Kurdish rebels, operating from what has become a free and autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. However, Kurdistan itself is effectively a nation that has been divided up into three parts, Turkish, Iraqi and Iranian. When the colonialists drew their lines on the map, they separated the Iraqi and Turkish Kurds from each other, so that families and whole communities were torn asunder. And instead of allowing open travel and passage across that border, the Turks have elected to prevent it. And so they face a restless Kurdish population in southeastern Turkey, with a military resistance that has bases in Iraq. However, perhaps instead of threatening to invade northern Iraq, maybe the Turks should consider establishing a separate autonomous region in southeastern Turkey, which could then peacefully remain in Turkey but have an open border with the Iraqi Kurdish region. In fact, this might also serve U.S. interests as well since the logical third piece of the equation would be for Iran to do the same thing with their third of Kurdistan, and they would certainly feel pressure to do so. But instead, Turkey has brutally suppressed any Kurdish aspirations for greater autonomy, and so they have certainly bought themselves more trouble.

But that is no reason why our Congress shouldn't take the time to state facts. And the Armenian genocide is a historical fact.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Peace Activist Born Today

Look closely and you will see who is strumming the guitar.

Umm...Howard Baker?

Remember the man? Known as the "Great Conciliator." Howard Baker is often regarded as one of the most successful senators in terms of brokering compromises, enacting legislation, and maintaining civility. Baker gained national recognition in 1973 as Vice Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee.

Well he's back! And stomping for Freddy for Hollywood.

"Sen. Fred Thompson announced today the members of his National Campaign Leadership Team: Sen. Howard H. Baker will serve as honorary chairman of his presidential campaign and Sen. Spencer Abraham, Sen. George Allen, and Elizabeth Cheney will serve as campaign co-chairs."

Like Thompson, of course, Baker is a former Tennessee senator. He's also "my longtime mentor, adviser, and close friend," Thompson says in the campaign statement.

And so it begins....

Where's the Coyote?

Still they want the mercenaries OUT!

Even after the State Department said that it would place its own diplomatic security agents in all Blackwater convoys, mount video cameras in Blackwater vehicles and record all radio transmissions to ensure an "objective" record of any future incident of contractor use of force, Iraq is not satified.

Iraqi authorities want the U.S. government to sever all contracts in Iraq with Blackwater USA within six months. They also want the firm to pay $8 million in compensation to families of each of the 17 people killed when its guards sprayed a traffic circle with heavy machine gun fire last month.

The tone of the Iraqi report appears to signal further strains between the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the White House over the deaths in Nisoor Square — which have prompted a series of U.S. and Iraqi probes and raised questions over the use of private security contractors to guard U.S. diplomats and other officials.

Al-Maliki ordered the investigation by his defense minister and other top security and police officials on Sept. 22. The findings — which were translated from Arabic by AP — mark the most definitive Iraqi positions and contentions about the shootings last month.

To quote a friend, "This is not going away."

Monday, October 08, 2007

American Children Need your Help

Many of the blogs are asking for your help to push the SCHIP votes over the top for a veto override. Crooks and Liars has the information.

Free Republic has no respect for Children

A conservative group launches a baseless smear on a child who received healthcare through CHIP. Think Progress has it.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

You're how old?

Joan Baez

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay, oh, forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
And may you have a firm foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay, oh, forever young


Friday, October 05, 2007

Birthday Barbi

Happy Birthday, Barbi
Please join me in wishing a Very Remarkable Woman a very Happy Day and while you are hanging out, help yourself to cybercake and watch/listen/dance to her birthday song.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Irresponsibility of the Leadership

Not surprising, since we have been hearing for 5 years of the irresponsibility and lack of regard for the soldiers.

Some times I just want to bang my head against the wall, to wake myself up from this awful nightmare. To read stories like this about soldiers being purposely denied their Education Benefits makes me sick.

Approximately 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard recently returned home after serving multiple tours of duty in Iraq. They served 22 months — “longer than any other ground combat unit” — recieved nine fatalities, and were awarded dozens of Purple Hearts.

But the Army wrote the orders for 1,162 of these soldiers for 729 days, making them ineligible for full educational benefits under the GI Bill, which requires written orders saying they were deployed for 730 days or more. These soldiers were shorted more than $200 per month for college.

Nod to Think Progress.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Just ain't right

Definition of hate(verb): to have strong emotions against; to consider as an enemy; opposite of love

And that is exactly what this group which calls themselves the 'Center for Immigration Studies' represents.

Think Progress posts:

Eduardo Gonzalez is preparing to deploy for his third tour of duty with the U.S. Navy in November. He will serve aboard the U.S.S. Harry Truman in the Persian Gulf. As he faces deployment, Gonzalez is not focused on his own safety, as most would be, but rather on the safety of his wife (who is not a U.S. citizen) and child, who face “deportation to Guatemala.”

Read the rest and watch the video.

All rights reserved.
Disclaimer And Comment Policy